Alberto FRIGO
(MIT, Mobile Experience Lab, Cambridge MA, USA)

Outline: The lecture intends to outline with a real case example, how digitally mediated cultural heritage can be generated pro-actively, without the need of retroactive curatorial selection and archival rearrangements.

Abstract: This abstract presents a unique on-going experiment initiated in 2004 and to be concluded in 2040. The aim of the experiment is to generate a total depiction of an individual’s life and his surrounding from his 24th to his 60th year of age.  Such a depiction consists of 18 documenting methods continuously followed by this individual and instructing him when it is time to document and how. Each method, not only generate a record of data such as for instance a record of activities based on the images of all the artifacts he uses, but it also deploys a unique medium of this time period and the language that arouses from it.

The result is a total depiction of time and space carried throughout 36 years of human history and around the different parts of the world were the individual has lived or his going to live. Such a depiction distinguishes itself for its coherent syntax and organization contrasting the more popular approach of method-less digital documentation. The natural formatting of the resulting archive has given the premises for a space where it can be presented. The actual presentation is also based on the spectrum of mediums offered during this period of time.

This on-going experiment demonstrates the implicit potential of cultural heritage to generate itself proactively based on selective methods applied by the authors beforehand and over an extensive period of time. The experiment also shows how these kind of proactively generated culture heritage artifacts can in the long run be more self-sufficient, sustainable, long-lasting and authentic based on their long unaltered exposure through time and their structural approaches. Ultimately, a successful end to the project would also demonstrate the potential to construct a new form of cultural heritage which would nourish from the old heritage but would not resent from its saturation.

Keywords: proactive generative authentic encyclopedic